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Having A Job Without Leaving Your Dorm

Casey Peters, Reporter

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The dorms at Northeast Community College are a great way to live on campus, not need a vehicle, and still be able to receive the full college experience. However, with hundreds of students in a dorm there needs to be management. Many students apply to be a Residents Assistant (RA) or a Student Assistant (SA) because they get part or all of their room paid for plus a job for their resume. Each floor in the resident’s hall has a RA and a SA. The roles of an RA are to keep everything in order and make sure that the students are obeying all the dorm rules. An SA is the RA’s assistant and handles most of the drama and problems students have with one another. You do not have to be a sophomore to qualify for either position, you can be a new incoming freshman and be an RA and have a Sophomore as your SA.

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There are 16 RAs and SAs. There are three floors in Simon Hall and three in Burkhardt Hall with one RA and one SA per floor. There are also two apartment buildings that have only two floors with an RA on one floor and an SA on the other floor.  There are benefits to becoming an RA or SA. The RA receives their room paid for while an SA receives half of their room paid for. Also both the RA and SA receive training and gain experience in leadership and build confidence along with learning how to mediate and deal with conflicts. They also learn a lot about being able to read signs when a peer isn’t comfortable, depressed, homesick, in an abusive relationship, on drugs, or other issues that come up for college students. “A benefit for an RA or SA is that we are able to have a better view of the school and we are looked up to in a big way,” stated RA/SA President Freshman Alisa Ruzicka.

“Serving as an RA is about balancing responsibilities, staying organized, and not procrastinating. Priority management is a big factor to succeeding. This is no different from any student balancing studies, a job, a social life, and sleep,” said RA/SA Advisor Jonathan Langlois. Having a residence hall means that they do not have to travel far to work and bad weather does not hold them back from doing their job. Their supervisor knows and understands their school schedule, their school breaks, and easily works with each RA and SA around them.

For future students that are interested in one of these positions, applying is simple. Anytime of the year you can submit an application to Langlois or Pete Rizzo, the Director of Residence Life and Food Service, and they will interview the best candidates. They offer the position to those they feel meet the qualifications and would best fit the team.

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Ruzicka said that the most difficult task about being an RA would have to be approaching each situation carefully without starting a big scene. If a student is caught with alcohol or tobacco on campus, the RA or SA that found it must remove it from that student. This can be difficult because that student is a peer of the RA or SA and may not be willing to hand it over. Disciplining the students is the hardest part for Langlois. He however, is not the one who deals with disciplining. If Rizzo is available he deals with the vast majority of sanctions.

If a student is caught breaking any sort of rule, the RA or SA who found this must fill out an incident report. Just because each member of the team is assigned to a certain floor, does not mean they are responsible only for that floor. If there is an SA in Simon and a student from Burkhardt approaches them with a problem, that SA is able to help them. Not everyone is comfortable talking to their assistance on their floor which isn’t abnormal. However, if an RA or an SA is caught breaking any rule, whether it be getting caught smoking on campus, not handling a situation correctly, receiving a DUI, anything that would violate their contract, they are removed from the team without warning.

All in all, there are many difficult tasks that each RA and SA has, but it is also has great benefits. “Being able to meet and greet almost every new freshman, helping them move into their room, and becoming more connected with more and more students is a great feeling,” said Ruzicka.

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Having A Job Without Leaving Your Dorm